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Jason Tucker

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there were 22.5 million refugees globally in 2014 (UNHCR, 2017 ). Research shows that of these 22.5 million, at least 6.6 million were stateless (Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, 2014 ). This year was by no means exceptional. The number of stateless refugees makes up a substantial

in Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship
Non-decisionism and state violence across temporal and geopolitical space from Bhutan to the United States
Odessa Gonzalez Benson
Yoosun Park
Francis Tom Temprosa
, and
Dilli Gautam

Statelessness of refugees in old age is rarely examined, even though the profound implications of such socio-political exclusion are particularly severe at the end of life. Resettlement with a path to citizenship is the conventional ‘durable solution’ for stateless refugees. But as this chapter illustrates, there is no viable path to citizenship for a

in Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship
The impact of political discourses on the Bidoon community in Kuwait
Ahmad Benswait

I began writing this chapter when I was under the siege of statelessness as a member of the Bidoon community in Kuwait, and now I have completed it while I am in London pursuing my doctoral studies at UCL Institute of Education. Having started my journey in studying the role of language in society, I wish to comment on the situation of the

in Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship
Total infringement of citizenship

I have made more than 20 formal applications for documents since 1991. I even visited the Ombudsman's Office. They [the authorities] didn't explain things to me, they just asked for documents that I don't have. Haidar Osmani, stateless Roma in North Macedonia, quoted in UNHCR statelessness report (UNHCR, 2017c : 27) This is a problem many believe has been

in The Fringes of Citizenship
Heather Alexander

Over the last few years, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has launched a series of statelessness mapping projects to identify and, in some cases, quantify statelessness in countries around the world. The population of a country is surveyed during a statelessness mapping project, along with its legal framework and civil identity systems

in Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship

When a person is not recognised as a citizen anywhere, they are typically referred to as ‘stateless’. This can give rise to challenges both for individuals and for the institutions that try to govern them. Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship breaks from tradition by relocating the ‘problem’ to be addressed from one of statelessness to one of citizenship. It problematises the governance of citizenship – and the use of citizenship as a governance tool. It traces the ‘problem of citizenship’ from global and regional governance mechanisms to national and even individual levels. Part I examines how statelessness is produced and maintained, for example through global development efforts and refugee protection instruments. Part II traces the lived reality of statelessness, starting at conception and the issuance of birth certificates, then exploring the experiences of youth, workers, and older people. Part III demands a rethinking of the governance of citizenship. It interrogates existing efforts to address challenges associated with statelessness and suggests alternatives. Contributions span global regions and contributors include activists, affected persons, artists, lawyers, leading academics from a range of disciplines, and national and international policy experts. Written text, visual art, and poetry are also used to examine complex concepts central to this discussion. Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship rejects the idea that statelessness and stateless persons are a problem. It argues that the reality of statelessness helps to uncover a more fundamental challenge: the problem of citizenship.

The legal prowess of the first-line bureaucrat in Malaysia
Jamie Chai Yun Liew

to join others on the road, and at worst an administrative hassle or one of many errands on a particular day. This kind of encounter is seemingly innocuous, even forgettable. For stateless persons applying for citizenship however, the encounter at a government counter can be a perilous experience filled with denials, refusals, obstructions, misunderstandings, judgements, and deceptions leading

in Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship
The United Arab Emirates’ Comorian minority
Yoana Kuzmova

Since the early 2000s, the government of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) first elevated and then eliminated statelessness as a policy issue through a series of unconventional population management policies. The centrepiece of this effort was the U.A.E.’s mass purchase of so-called ‘economic citizenship’ passports from the African country of

in Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship
India’s response to the ‘ghosts of the republic’
Pragna Paramita Mondal

The conditions that produce statelessness exist in the governance of cross-border reproduction through surrogacy. Transnational commercial surrogacy involves women in the host countries acting as surrogates for foreign homosexual/heterosexual couples or single persons who aspire to parenthood but are unable or unwilling to bear children themselves

in Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship
Reflections from an activist
Ekaterina E

taken from me, my only way home – closed. Not a national. A citizen of nowhere. A ghost. As the train sped down the tracks, I stared at my reflection in the glass. I was still the same person I was yesterday, except that now I had a new word to describe myself: stateless. I typed ‘statelessness’ into the search bar on my phone only to be engulfed by

in Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship